Because of that, ZTE doesn't seem to have a lot of options left other than using Exynos chispets in its smartphones.
CHIPMAKER Samsung is reportedly in talks with several of its rival OEMs, including beleaguered ZTE, to supply them with its Exynos mobile processor chips in a bid to take on Qualcomm. Meizu has launched its flagship smartphones with Exynos processor in the past.
No specific deals have been reached just yet, with Inyup Kang, head of Samsung's logic chip developer called System LSI and former Qualcomm executive, stating that Samsung is likely to announce new clients sporting Exynos chips in the first half of 2019. This is said to have created urgency for ZTE to diversify its suppliers, according to unnamed analysts quoted in the report. In fact, a Samsung ZTE deal will put more pressure Qualcomm, which said last month it expects the loss of business with ZTE to lower its profits by 3 cents per share next quarter, reported Reuters. It looks as though Samsung is attempting to capitalise on ZTE's struggles with the U.S. government, which now prevents the smartphone maker from using Qualcomm's chips.
Mr. Kang told Reuters that Samsung's logic chip division also plans to seek growth in new fields such as 5G network technology and automotive, as the smartphone market is slowing down.
He said Samsung is in discussion with multiple automobile companies to develop chips for autonomous driving, declining to name the auto makers.
The report noted that TSMC is now the world's top contract chip manufacturer, followed by Global Foundries, UMC and Samsung.
Samsung is far behind Qualcomm and Apple in mobile SoC production, but the solution to use in-house chips helped the company grow its smartphone business, including a 27% rise in shipments for System LSI.
In recent years, Samsung's semiconductor business has been one of the major profit generators for the company, even surpassing Intel last year in terms of volume. Enter your email to be subscribed to our newsletter.